AndyO Blog

Monday, November 23, 2020

Thanksgiving: The Perfect Storm

I just read COVID-19 cases increased 14% week over week—just before many people ignore the CDC’s warning about large Thanksgiving gatherings. The sense of calm that we had is about to be annihilated. I fear the exponential increase in the virus is going to feel like a nuclear bomb going off, as health care workers can no longer cope with the influx of patients. 

People who ignored the warnings won’t understand why they can’t get the care they need: people who did heed the warnings will be just as confused. And a lot of people are going to die who didn’t need to. But that’s been going on for a while now. Even if this is some new proof of Darwin’s theory of natural selection (“survival of the fittest”), it’s still going to be sad and devastating.

It also seems to be a reverse example of mass hysteria. In this case, people don’t believe the virus is that bad—or that it doesn’t really exist. Just like how Trump said he won the election.

Speaking of which, Trump still hasn’t conceded. But he’s running out of options to continue the charade.

posted by AndyO @ 12:08 AM   0 comments

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Apocalypse Trump

It’s been nearly three weeks since the election, and still Trump hasn’t conceded. His legal challenges have all been thrown out, so now he’s trying to overturn state results by pressuring officials. His lawyer Giuliani is traveling around filing lawsuits, and giving press conferences that border on psychotic. 

While I expected this of Trump, I didn’t think he’d be so blatantly authoritarian in his pursuits. The Republicans who have enabled him need to step up and put an end to this. Because this is extremely dangerous to our democracy—an attempted coup. And those who don’t take this seriously need to look at history, because this is how dictatorships start.

As if this isn’t stressful enough, COVID-19 is back. Big time. 250,000 deaths and more on the way. No Thanksgiving. No Christmas. No New Year’s celebrations. Except for the MAGA true believers.

But at least two vaccines look promising.
posted by AndyO @ 9:58 PM   0 comments

Monday, November 09, 2020

Biden elected 46th President

We had the election last Tuesday, and as expected, it took a while to get the results. Republicans and Democrats alike were on edge, as poll workers counted votes, and TV networks didn’t know what to do. It came down to the swing states again: Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Nevada, and Arizona. Trump won Florida and Ohio; Biden won the rest. Georgia and North Carolina are still a toss up. But Biden has 279 Electoral votes vs. Trump’s 214. The election has been called.

Except nobody told Trump. 

He’s contesting the results. The problem is his rhetoric about a “rigged” election is dangerous. People listen to the president—or at least 70 million Americans do. The peaceful transfer of power is dependent upon both parties agreeing with the results. But Trump can’t see himself as a loser, and has turned to litigation to air his conspiracy theories.

Meanwhile, Biden is acting as the president-elect, even if Trump continues to throw tantrums until he’s asked to leave. 

That Republicans continue to enable and normalize Trump’s behavior is what’s especially shocking. Things won’t get better until they stop indulging him in this sad game. 
posted by AndyO @ 11:59 PM   0 comments

Monday, October 05, 2020

Trump returns to White House

 After three days at Walter Reed hospital, and infusions of experimental drug therapies, Trump returned to the White House. After landing in Marine One, and ascending the stairs to the balcony, he triumphantly removed his mask. It was as if to say, “I told you so! COVID isn’t so bad.” 

He even said as much, tweeting that people shouldn’t be afraid of the virus.

It’s odd to see someone with such high risk factors declaring victory so soon. All it shows is Trump has learned nothing. It’s better to appear tough, instead of smart. It’s better to produce political theater than actually govern.

What happens next is anyone’s guess.

posted by AndyO @ 10:49 PM   0 comments

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Presidential COVID watch

As is always the case with Team Trump, confusion was the order of the day regarding the president’s condition.

Doctors at Walter Reed couldn’t give straight answers about whether Trump’s been on supplemental oxygen since he was diagnosed. They gave a timeline for the virus that didn’t match what we knew (72 hours vs. 48 hours). Trump’s chief of staff gave a more truthful briefing, confirming the president’s vitals were a concern on Saturday and were the reason he was transferred to Walter Reed. 

And Trump keeps posting videos of himself working—to prove that he’s okay. 

Meanwhile, more of the Republican leadership and Trump’s circle have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a group who has mostly ignored the medical recommendations for months, and now they’re facing a harsh reality. Trump has always lived in a manufactured reality, where truth is what he says it is, and he can do what he wants. For example: He had the biggest inauguration crowd; he’s done more than any administration in the history of the United States; coronavirus isn’t much worse than the flu.

It’s not just that Trump is sick. It’s also that the uncertainty creates a national security risk, especially given that (from what I've read) he hasn't kept many of the processes in place to prepare for a contingency like this. If he and Mike Pence are both incapacitated, Nancy Pelosi would need to have the right info to make quick decisions. Or would others step in and say they're in charge Remember that the president is the one who gives the order to launch nuclear weapons—so there’s not a lot of room for error.

If there’s one thing I do know, Trump will never admit to needing to give responsibility to anyone else. In his world, the illusion of invincibility must be maintained at all costs (which I do understand to some degree). Remember a year ago, he made an emergency visit to Walter Reed—though this is still being sold as a routine visit. What happens if he needs to go on a ventilator? Will we hear about it? Is that when China, Russia, North Korea, or some other country will take advantage of the chaos?

posted by AndyO @ 11:42 PM   0 comments